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ACC Tournament First Round: Preview

#8 Clemson vs #9 Florida State, 12:00 PM

This is a NCAA elimination game which is not the same thing as a NCAA play in game. The loser is most definitely NIT bound with the winner hanging their hopes on trying to knock off UNC. Florida State has Toney Douglas back which seemed to be as much to blame for their five game losing streak than anything else. Clemson on the other hand can only blame the fact that they are Clemson for winning only of their final 13 games following the 17-0 start. Clemson swept the Noles which usually trends in favor of the swept team since beating someone three times in one season is not a common occurrence. Noles are also playing better and at this point a better team than the Tigers.

Florida State 80 Clemson 74

#5 Maryland vs #12 Miami, 2:30 PM

Here is a safe assumption: Maryland has been thinking about playing Miami again ever since that abysmal shooting performance in early January in College Park which essentially cost Maryland not only a Friday bye but a share of the ACC title. So look for a measure of revenge and the fact the Terps are playing some of the best basketball in the ACC right now.

Maryland 92 Miami 70

#7 Duke vs #10 NC State, 7:00 PM

Duke enters this game without Gerald Henderson which may not be as much of an issue as we would all like to believe. This game comes down to how well Josh McRoberts deals with Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner. The point guard position favors NC State with Engin Atsur over Greg Paulus. Gavin Grant and Courtney Fells become X factors opposite Demarcus Nelson and Jon Scheyer. Then again it still comes back to the big men and by that I mean rebounding. That is unless NC State shoots over 65% from the floor then the rebounding will be significantly less important because there will be nothing to rebound on the Wolfpack end. Something tells me NC State would like to show they can beat Duke after failing to show up in the only meeting this season.

NC State 71 Duke 69

#6 Georgia Tech vs #11 Wake Forest, 9:30 PM

Georgia Tech should win this game, especially if they continue to play as well as they have played in the past week. That being said this was a team they split with this season and GT has been horrid away from home. Wake Forest continues to get good play from Ishmael Smith at the point and Kyle Visser on the post. What that all means is I expect the Jackets to see a tougher battle than you might think which could work against GT considering this is the first of four games they would need to win for the title. Also add the small pressure of GT being out of the NCAA Tournament should they lose and this game should be entertaining.

Georgia Tech 83 Wake 75